Brightwood Animal Hospital

9640 Old Johnnycake Ridge Rd
Mentor, OH 44060


Canine Cough

Canine cough is an infection of the dogs upper respiratory tract and main lower airways. It can be caused by a number of different bacteria or viruses. Some of the more common causes are the Bordatella bronchiseptica bacterium, and the parinfluenza virus. There are other less common causes.

Is it the same as kennel cough?

Yes, but the term kennel cough is not really appropriate. Canine cough can be contacted from an infected dog wherever they meet.It doesn't have to be in a kennel. A trip to the park, the groomers, a dog show, obedience class, or even a walk around the block can lead to an exposure to the bacteria or virus that causes canine cough. Many dogs who have never been near a kennel catch canine cough.

How do dogs get canine cough?

The disease can be spread wherever dogs congregate. An infected or carrier dog sneezes or coughs and aerosolizes the germs.Another dog breathes the germs in and now is infected too.

What are the signs of canine cough?

The most common sign is a dry, harsh, hacking cough. Sometimes the dog coughs so hard it gags. The symptoms generally occur several days to a week after exposure to an infected animal. In particularly bad cases the animals may have a fever and poor appetite. Because the respiratory system is in a weakened state, these dogs are also at risk of developing pneumonia.Your veterinarian can determine if your dog has canine cough, or some other condition causing the symptoms. The veterinarian may want to take x-rays or do some laboratory tests to determine the exact cause of the cough.

How is canine cough treated?

There are several things your veterinarian may do to treat your pet. Antibiotics are used to treat the bacterial cause of the condition. Cough suppressants may be used to treat the cough itself. Rest and isolation so the dog does not spread the infection are also important.

Can canine cough be prevented?

Yes, there is a vaccine to help prevent the disease. While you can't vaccinate for all the potential causes of canine cough, your veterinarian can prevent your pet from becoming sick from the more common causes. The Bordatella, parinfluenza, and adenovirus portions of your pets annual vaccination are given to help prevent canine cough.

by William M. Fraser, D.V.M.

Brightwood Animal Hospital serves Mentor, Concord, Painesville and the surrounding communities.

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